Heights students witness mock DUI crash ahead of prom

By Katie Hatfield
KWCH – April 9, 2015

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Wichita – A fatal car accident involving young kids – it’s a scene no one wants to witness, but one firefighters and police officers may have to face.

With prom scheduled this weekend for Heights High School juniors and seniors, members of Students Against Destructive Decisions wanted to send a powerful message to their fellow classmates: don’t drive distracted.

Police officers, firefighters, EMS technicians and mortuary employees were on scene Thursday to create the mock DUI crash. SADD students played the roles of those involved in the accident.

All but one student, the drunk driver, looked injured in some way. Officers announced over speakers that two people had critical injuries and one person was dead. Students looked on as one of their classmates was placed into a body bag and transported from the scene is a hearse.

“It was horrific actually,” one Heights student shared.

Fire Prevention Officer Clarence Moore helped to coordinate Thursday’s mock accident. “These demonstrations are important because we want kids to make better choices,” Moore said. “To come out and work one of these accidents is really hard, especially when it involves young kids.”

Whitney Williams knows too well the devastation of an accident involving drinking and driving. “[On a] nice September night, my dad was on his motorcycle. He was hit and killed instantly by an impaired driver,” Williams said as she spoke to the crowd. “I don’t want anyone, anyone, to go through what me and my family go through on a day-to-day basis.”

Williams spoke calmly to the crowd, but admits it’s been a rough road since 2008. “It’s one of the hardest things that I’ve ever had to go through… Drinking and driving, it can ruin your life.”

Williams’ story and the demonstration “actually kind of influenced me,” a Heights student said. “I don’t drink or do any drugs but that’s something that made me not ever want to start.”

Another student added, “It really kind of showed us what could actually happen when you text and drive or drink and drive. I think it was a good, like, teaching moment for all of us, especially the students that do drink and drive.”

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